Between craft & industry

In the past, the structures were somehow clearer: On the one hand, there were the craftsmen, who mostly produced food without much technical aids, and on the other hand, there was the industry, in which, driven by the capitalist efficiency paradigm, food was produced in as short a time as possible and in as high a quantity as possible, primarily through mechanization and automation. But this supposedly unambiguous binary is increasingly difficult to distinguish nowadays, and especially in the future, due to technological change. This is because even “artisanal” or smaller businesses now use machines, automated processes and robots. The increasing complexity of social change means that simple comparisons such as analog, small and good vs. digital, big and bad simply no longer reflect reality. In general, the question arises more and more frequently: What does artisanal actually mean?

Between craft & industry: digitization blurs the boundaries of food production

Even small cheese dairies, butchers and bakeries now use robots in the production process as a matter of course. Westcombe Dairy from the UK, like the glass dairy in Münchenhofe in Brandenburg, has a turning robot in operation that knows each cheese wheel and their ripening rooms, turning times and age. Thanks to FoodTracks’ AI technology, Kraus Bakery has been able to better manage product availability and returns, significantly reducing food waste.

Photo: Unsplash, Unsplash